California High School Student Finds School Bathrooms are Polluted with Thirdhand Smoke Residue
Rosalia Park, a high school student from Los Angeles, California, recognized a problem with smoking and vaping in her school’s bathrooms. Working with the Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center, she designed an experiment to test her school bathrooms for thirdhand smoke residue. Upon completion of her experiment, she went on to win numerous accolades at regional, state,
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Can you test for thirdhand smoke?
Tobacco smoke contains thousands of chemicals that break down and interact with the environment. Scientists have developed sensitive tests1 using those chemical markers that can detect thirdhand smoke chemicals in the air, in house dust, on surfaces of indoor environments, and on people. However, these tests are expensive to conduct and few are available outside of university laboratories available at this time.
What does it mean when we smell stale tobacco smoke?
Have you ever walked into a room and gotten a whiff of stale tobacco smoke? Or maybe smelled it as someone walked by? The smell of stale cigarette smoke–even when no one is smoking–is a sign of thirdhand smoke. As we breathe in, odor receptors in our noses recognize the chemicals in thirdhand smoke and trigger a signal in our brains that allows us to recognize stale tobacco smoke.
How Can We Test For Tobacco Exposure In Children’s Environments?
A recent study by Thirdhand Smoke Resource Center Consortium member Melinda Mahabee-Gittens and colleagues investigated if hand nicotine levels can be used as an indicator of second- and thirdhand smoke exposure in children’s environments.